If you have a business that you want to sell, you will put together a package of information for prospective buyers: balance sheets, cash flow statements, assets, contracts, employee agreements, leases and insurance policies – basically, all documents that demonstrate your business’s value to a potential buyer. But there is one important document that most sellers neglect to provide prospective buyers:
Customer Testimonials and Reviews
When preparing a business for sale, most sellers think that the financials are the vital documents to value their company – and they are. But most financials look to the past. A prospective buyer also needs to know how your business will do in the future.
When you make an online purchase, social proof is a key factor in your decision process:
- What did other buyers say about the product?
- Are their product reviews?
- Do they have a lot of social media followers and mentions
Social proof is looking at the actions of others
to help decide what actions to take.
Typically marketers say that customer reviews can help you grow your business – and they can! But for small business owners and entrepreneurs, customers reviews and testimonials are a strategic opportunity to demonstrate the present value and growth potential of your business.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations – and there is every reason to believe your potential buyer will trust your business’s online reviews too. Online customer reviews can sell your business to a prospect by providing social proof that you have a good reputation and a loyal customer base.
5 Ways Customer Reviews Can Sell Your Business
1. Social Proof:
Good sales and healthy financials demonstrate you have been running a successful business. But recent 5-star customer reviews and glowing client testimonials are a strong indicator that your customers are and will stay loyal.
2. Increased Rank:
Search engines crawl customer reviews and testimonials to help determine a website’s rank. Search engines pay attention to customer reviews because people pay attention – and search engines exist solely to help people find information. A higher ranking website indicates a better know business, which is a competitive edge. Reviews contribute 10% of Google SERP rank.
3. Competitive Edge:
If your business has good online reviews compared to your competitors’, that demonstrates a competitive advantage to your prospect.
4. Stars Convert to Sales:
According to Small Business Trends,
- Every star review a business gets converts to a 5-9% increase in sales
- Buyers spend up to 31% more at a business with good reviews
- Reviews produce on average an 18% increase in sales
- Negative reviews, if handled properly, can increase sales by generating buzz and increasing product awareness
5. Local Search:
Google reviews and owner responses are up to 15% of Google local rank.
There are many factors that come in to play in the decision to buy a business. A smart business seller will make sure they have the data to back up their claims of business success and growth prospects – including social proof in the form of customer reviews and testimonials.
- The 3 Rs: References, Recommendations and Reviews
- Top Customer Online Review Tools for Small Business